Kush Tourism: Can Americans Smoke Pot in Canada?
Not too long ago, the idea of cannabis being legalized for recreational use anywhere was downright laughable. Now, though, several states throughout the U.S. have legalized recreational cannabis, as has the entire country of Canada.
Do you have a trip up north on the horizon?
Maybe you’re planning a trip to Canada just so you can consume cannabis — hey, kush tourism is a thing now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to go away any time soon.
No matter what your reason, you might be interested in learning about how Canada’s new cannabis laws affect American tourists.
The short answer is that, yes, Americans can consume cannabis while in Canada. There are rules, though. Keep reading for some helpful information.
You Must be 18-19 Years Old
Not just anyone can consume cannabis while in Canada. In order to step into a dispensary or purchase cannabis from an online store, you’ll need to be able to prove that you’re either 18 or 19 years old.
In most Canadian provinces, you have to be 19 before you can purchase cannabis legally. The exceptions are Alberta and Quebec. The minimum age in these provinces in 18.
It’s not enough just to say you’re of legal age, either. You’ll need to provide a valid form of photo identification before you can make a purchase.
This applies when you order cannabis online, too. You’ll have to show your ID to the delivery person before they’ll give you your order.
Every province and territory in Canada is responsible for regulating its cannabis sales and determining the price of various strains and products.
It’s hard to know how much you’ll end up paying for cannabis while in Canada until you start shopping.
The following are the average prices of cannabis in various parts of the country:
- British Columbia: Here, you can buy dried flowers at $6.99-$16.28 (in Canadian dollars) per gram.
- Alberta: In Alberta, dried flowers range from $9.24 per gram to $15.42 per gram; you can get 3..5 grams for $49.99, too.
- Saskatchewan: Here, where private retailers can set their own prices, you can pay anywhere from $13-$16 per gram, on average.
- Ontario: In Ontario, you can purchase cannabis on the government-run website for $7.95 per gram to $13.25 per gram.
- Quebec: Quebec’s prices are lower than average, starting at $5.25 per gram
- Nova Scotia: In Nova Scotia, you can purchase “value cannabis” for $6.33-$10.99 per gram; “core cannabis” for $9-10.98 per gram; and “premium cannabis” for $10.99 per gram and up.
This is not a comprehensive list of cannabis prices in Canada, of course, but it should give you a general idea of how much you should anticipate spending during your trip.
Public Consumption Rules Vary
You can purchase cannabis legally throughout Canada, but that doesn’t mean you can consume it anywhere you’d like. Every province has its own rules regarding public consumption.
For example, in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador, you cannot consume cannabis on the sidewalk. In the Yukon, public cannabis consumption is banned altogether.
If you’re visiting British Columbia, Ontario, or Alberta, you can only consume cannabis in places where smoking tobacco is also legal. You cannot smoke in parks, near schools, near playgrounds, or anywhere in which children are present.
Many Canadian hotels are 100 percent smoke-free, too.
The best and safest place to smoke cannabis in Canada is in a private residence. If you have to stay in a hotel, you’re better off consuming cannabis in a smoke-free form, such as an edible or oil.
Don’t Smoke and Drive
Canada has very strict rules regarding smoking and driving.
Throughout the country, it is illegal to drive while you’re under the influence of cannabis (as well as any other drug).
You can have cannabis in the car with you while driving, but it has to be sealed and out of passengers’ reach. Basically, this means you have to store it in the trunk.
If you get caught driving while smoking cannabis or while high, you could face hefty fines and even prison time.
You Might Have to Buy Online
Most provinces in Canada have at least one brick-and-mortar dispensary where you can purchase cannabis in-person.
The one exception is Ontario.
Here, you’ll have to buy hash online instead. This isn’t the worst thing in the world — after all, who wouldn’t want to premium cannabis products delivered to their door?
The catch, though, is that you will have to wait around for a couple of days before someone can deliver your products.
Most online dispensaries have a two or three-day shipping period, so you’ll need to plan accordingly if you want to enjoy legal cannabis during your stay.
You Can’t Bring it with You
Keep in mind that you cannot take cannabis that you purchased in Canada back over the border with you. This rule applies even if you live in a state that has legalized cannabis.
At this time, border officers will not prevent American citizens from entering the country if they get caught transporting cannabis across the border. However, you may be subject to a secondary inspection, and there may be legal ramifications.
U.S. border officers don’t have plans to start asking questions about marijuana use or consumption while Americans were visiting Canada.
But, if your car smells like cannabis or they have reason to suspect that you may be transporting it, they may inspect your car or subject you to additional questioning.
When Kush Tourism is Over
As you can see Canada’s cannabis laws are fairly American-friendly.
Generally speaking, you can have a great time on your trip, whether or not kush tourism is your main priority, and consume cannabis without fear while you’re in Canada.
Just remember that there may be consequences when you return to the states.
For example, if your employer drug tests on a regular basis, you could get in trouble if you need to get tested soon after returning from your trip.
If you’re worried about failing a surprise drug test, check out this article to learn more about how long cannabis stays in your system and what you can do to ensure you pass your test.